Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A cycle complete

We are waiting in bonnyville for the last day of Jeff's first cycle! The first cycle has been good so far. A few little bumps have come up along the way but nothing too crazy. Last week we found out Jeff's sodium was low, so the doctors added another medication to keep those levels up. This week, his neutrophil level is 0.0 which means he has no bacterial infection fighting ability at all and will be started on a prophylactic round of antibiotics. The port incision has healed nicely and his hair is still intact! Jeff's next round will start Monday next week and will take place in Edmonton. Only 2 more rounds to go. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Feels good to be home

After the first night, the nurses and doctors were very helpful and got Jeff feeling better. He hasn't thrown up since the first night and he is feeling alright. He is incredibly tired and not super stable on his feet but looking forward to a weekend of relaxing and resting.
Getting poked for iv's and bloodwork never bothers Jeff but apparently he has super tricky veins. Day 1 he got poked 3 times and day 2 he got poked twice. That was when Jeff's nurse talked to the dr about getting a central line put in. Since Jeff's drugs go in intravenously and he has 5 days of chemo in a 21 day cycle, it would be hard on his veins to get poked 2 or 3 times every time. Things worked out in his favour and Jeff was able to get his central line put in before we came home. It is called a power port and everything is completely under his skin. He has a few staples right now and a lump just below his clavicle on the right side but it is a relief to know they won't have to go digging around in his arms any more. They will be able to use the port for his next treatment which will be in bonnyville! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Chemo day one

Day one of chemo went well. We were not able to get into bonnyville for the start of treatment so we get to stay in Edmonton for a few days. The first day at the cross was uneventful. Jeff gets all his drug intravenous so it takes a few hours to get all the drugs into him. It's super unnerving to be in a big room where everyone is getting poison pumped into their veins in order to combat an even bigger poison. The doctors and nurses are amazing and the volunteers really do help to make things easier. But it doesn't change the fact that everywhere you look, people are fighting a hard battle. 

Jeff was feeling good after his first treatment. He has been drinking lots of water and they push lots of fluid in with the drugs so I expected him to be up a few times through the night to pee. I woke up a few times when he got up but didn't think much of it until at 5am when he told me he had been throwing up. It was a long night for him having to get up so much and throwing up him anti-nausea drugs this morning didn't help. Arriving at the cross this morning was like a big breath of fresh air. They immediately started him on intravenous anti-nausea meds and they are working on getting him some more meds for home. Right now, all is well. Jeff is relaxing and ready for day two. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Since the completion of radiation in 2013 Jeff has been trying to find his new grove. He has been helping his dad as much as he can around the farm and with me going back to school, he has really stepped up with taking care of the kids as well as chores around the house. 

In September Jeff's MRI report came back with some bad news. There had been some growth of his tumor and the oncologist scheduled another MRI a few months later. Growth again, although it was minimal, meant Jeff needed to be to seen by the chemotherapy team. We met another new dr and went through the details. The next 9 - 12 weeks for Jeff look like they are going to be tough ones.  He will have 3 different types of chemotherapy drug being pumped into him in 3 or 4 , 21 day cycles. Days 1, 2, and 3 are chemo days as well as days 8 and 15. Then he gets to start again for another cycle. Hair will fall out, blood count will go down, and nausea will become a part of life. We really don't know what to expect or how Jeff will react to the drugs but hopes are high that this will be the end of his cancer chapter.